Cop­pin it sweet in Perth

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Stage -

THE last time Tyler Cop­pin was in Perth, he was fright­en­ing au­di­ences as the evil child catcher in the mu­si­cal Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Now he has re­turned as unhappy flower shop owner Mr Mush­nik in Lit­tle Shop of Hor­rors who gets his just deserts; a char­ac­ter he de­scribed as “some­one who loves Au­drey and Sey­mour (his em­ploy­ees) but is so rid­dled with self-doubt, bit­ter­ness and sad­ness at his mis­er­able life that it’s com­i­cally tragic”.

Cop­pin’s love af­fair with Perth stretches back to 1999 when he brought his solo show Lyre­Bird (Tales of Help­mann) to The Playhouse Theatre.

“I loved The Playhouse be­cause you got church bells ring­ing ev­ery 15 min­utes on a Sun­day mati­nee,” Cop­pin said.

“I dig progress but was sad to see it go, although the Heath Ledger Theatre is in­cred­i­ble and prob­a­bly the best theatre I’ve ever been in.”

Cop­pin has added an­other Perth theatre to his list with Lit­tle Shop of Hor­rors open­ing at His Majesty’s Theatre last Fri­day.

The show re­united Cop­pin with di­rec­tor Dean Bryant after the pair worked to­gether on The 25th An­nual Put­nam County Spell­ing Bee in 2007.

“I was in Strictly Ball­room for two years and I didn’t do much in that show other than flap around with a hand­bag and ap­ply lip gloss,” Cop­pin said.

“Dean of­fered me the role of Mush­nik and I told him I’d love to do some real act­ing.”

Cop­pin, who was born in Cal­i­for­nia and lives in Mel­bourne, vis­ited Aus­tralia with his fam­ily be­fore mi­grat­ing to study at Na­tional In­sti­tute of Dra­matic Art at age 19.

“My dad was work­ing here; I came on a holiday with my fam­ily and saw NIDA in a news­pa­per,” he said.

“I had no intention of stay­ing in Aus­tralia, I just have.

“In those days, be­cause it was a long time ago, peo­ple would ask me what I was do­ing here, say­ing I should be act­ing back in Cal­i­for­nia.

“I love live theatre and Aus­tralian au­di­ences; they’re so warm and vi­brant and the arts are usu­ally great, es­pe­cially at the mo­ment with so many mu­si­cals.”

Brent Hill (Sey­mour) and Tyler Cop­pin (Mr Mush­nik) in Lit­tle Shop of Hor­rors.

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